County population continues to increase

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By Stan Welch
Anderson County, in an effort to provide more current information on the changes in the county’s population, has released its first Population Update, as well as creating a new online Population Portal on the county website.
While the U.S. Census updates such information every ten years, other sources provide short term updates; but until now the county’s only mechanism for disseminating that information was the county’s comprehensive plan, which is revisited each ten years, with five year updates in between.

In light of Anderson County’s rapid and steady growth, the planning department was tasked with providing updated information on a more contemporary basis; hence the update and portal. Anderson County contains nine Census County Divisions, mostly centered on the county’s various municipalities.
The inaugural population update points out that, according to U.S. Census information, Anderson has never lost population over any ten year cycle, since being formally established in 1826. In 1830, there were 17,169 residents in Anderson County. In 2010, that number had climbed to 187,126, or an increase of eleven hundred per cent. According to figures provided by the county planning department, the county gained twelve thousand residents in the five years following the 2010 census, and is projected to maintain that rate, gaining twenty four thousand by the next census, in 2020.
Perhaps most indicative of the accelerating growth in the county is the projected increase of more than fifty thousand people between 2010 and 2030.
Both Williamston and West Pelzer lost population during the period between the 1990 and 2000 census reports, but both had recovered by the 2010 census, and have continued to gain residents since then. Pelzer held its own during that period, and has recently seen a huge increase in population, due to the annexation of hundreds of households.
The report also states that fifteen thousand veterans live in the county, with more than a third of those having served in Viet Nam. Eight hundred World War II veterans are still alive, according to the report, and fifteen hundred Korean War veterans. Eighty three per cent of Anderson residents have a high school diploma or a GED, and nearly thirty per cent have an associate’s degree or higher.
More than twenty eight per cent of the county’s residents were born outside of the state of South Carolina. For the most current and comprehensive information, go to www.andersoncountysc.org/population. To view the comprehensive plan, go to www.andersoncountysc.org/plan.
Look for additional information from the update in coming issues of The Journal.